Saturday 25 September 2010

More Climbing?

Why yes. Thankyou.

So today myself and Max headed over the Severn and climbed at Wintour's Leap.

I started gently with an onsight of the nicely named 'Gunshot Wound to the Head' 6c+ which climbed nicely with one toughish crux move that I missed first attempt but managed to hold myself on the fall.

I also onsighted another 6c - 'A Blast from the Past' which, while lacking in holds at the top, climbed nicely and slapping for chalky patches worked perfectly again.

I cant wait to go and climb on some Grit, where the holds are not hidden from view or awfully slick...Perhaps I have tinted glasses on, but the last time I was up there was brilliant.

I finished up today with a quickish ascent of a 7b in Avon, perfect for me, vertical wall, crimps, rockovers, good feet, 10 move power endurance sequence followed by a race against fatigue to the chains. Brilliant problem but quite polished at the start, just trust your feet and it is alright.

I then went to TCA and watched Ron Fawcett's lecture, I have a lot of respect for the guy now I know what he got up to, the huge amount of soloing was perhaps a little reckless but he seems to have impressed everyone who saw him climb and he was up for any challenge, anytime, any place.
I got my bag signed and shook his ridiculously huge hand then sprinted off to the station where my train was at the wrong platform...leading to me missing it and returning home an hour later than planned...Unimpressed.

I battered my knee on the overhang today, and now it is crispy and quite greasy.....hohoho
but seriously, I hit it quite hard and now it hurts :-( bad times.

Friday 24 September 2010


Went to Cheddar with a Polish/Australian? chap from UKC today.

Interesting climbing with someone who (speaking kindly) was larger than myself. For obvious reasons I dont normally meet people who climb at a similar level to myself while weighing any more...

Anyway, this chap called Max was quite a good laugh really, we had a good time and I had my best day outdoor lead climbing. (unless the date 01/02/2010 is correctly logged in my book)
But even then I might claim this one as better due to my first ever 7a onsight.
I'm super chuffed to have finally gotten this off my back because it has been a target for a while.

And Jack - you may turn your nose up at the idea of an onsight climb, but they are undeniably the most impressive style of ascent possible.

I followed this by doing the 3* 7a "Shakin' Like a Leaf" which climbs quite nicely and is very resistant up top. It was also on the ticklist I made ages ago, so nice to tickthat off as well.

I then did "Partners in Crime" 6c+ in two attempts, brilliant climb, best described as 3 interesting rockovers, all of them different.

After that we pootled over to Arch Rock where I made a valiant attempt at the ineptly bolted "screwballed" I have all the moves, but making the clips is the biggest pain on the route, moves are nice - couple of hands off rests, just gotta keep it together to the top...unfortunately I was drained by the time we got on it and I couldn't do it in a single push, but I dogged it twice with only one short rest on both attempts.

Still, not a bad day.

Tomorrow I am going for my first ever specific 'trad climbing day'.
I am pretty much excited.

Bring it on Dave Macleod, as of tomorrow there is a new bloke on your turf.

Tuesday 21 September 2010


"I have to work really hard
I havent had a rest day in 3 months
My talent is being a masochist
The training totally breaks your body and mind"
But it's worth it to be champion.
The future is mine, the future will be mine. - Patxi Usobiaga

You only have to look at this guy to see what it is all about.
Those eyes after he falls...That is some desire right there.
You gotta want it, no point putting yourself through the pressure and training if you arent going to go for it when the chips are down.

I am so psyched for projects now.
Thankyou BigUp, thankyou Patxi.

I love indoor climbing

Who doesn't?

You'd have to be insane to want to climb outside in the 'fresh air'.
Cows fart out there you know.

You get nice filtered air indoors, the problems dont stay long so if you cant do soemthing then it will probably be changed sometime in the near future, and you are never far from a toilet.

Of course, I say these things in jest and I actually cant wait to get outside again.
I really should have done so today but I am still a bit achey from sunday's fives and I wasnt really feeling the whole exercise thing today.
Then I reminded myself of one Mr Usobiaga and forced myself to drive to the wall.
After I warmed up a bit I felt a better and got down to the business of climbing the problems I had set on my previous visit.
Last time I was down was the day after the Sutton competition though and my skin was very sore,

so I didn't actually climb all the moves I set and just made a vague approximation of what was possible.
After climbing the problems today I found one was fecking hard (so I added a hold) one was bloody awkward (so I moved a hold) and one had easier beta than I I left it alone but didnt change the grade.

I also tried out the purple problem in the cave, I finally worked out all the moves and have most of them relatively keyed in, but the last move is really really hard. I wouldn't like to accept the grade it is given (7c) but for me it would at least earn 7b. Right now it feels easily as hard as Dr. Med did when I did it, but that was a fair while ago, when I was strong and not aching from exercise...I'll propose a grade if I do it, until then...just gotta try, try and try again.

Sunday 19 September 2010

2 Competitions in 4 days

Comeback Comp!

On Thursday I went to Sutton and played in the Hard section of the comp.
Unfortunately the word 'hard' didnt throw me off and I think I came last in the category.
I climbed alright, just fell off the last move of many problems, obviously equalling no points.

My stamina was shit poor though, I couldnt climb several of the problems just because I ran out of gas on the moves. I'm planning for the third round now, I intend to place somewhere decent and not completely disgrace myself like last time.

I got a nice picture out of the deal though so that is alright.

I also played in the Eton Fives U25 Championships today,
Partner was not as bad as I had feared and we did alright in the group stages, almost going through into the main competition.
Fortunately we didnt, otherwise it would have been a very short day, as it was we went into the plate competition and fared alright. We could have come second with a win in the last game, but after losing the game before and playing 7 games before that...mental and physical energy was a little lagging and we ended up losing to the only pair that we had beaten in the group stages.

Here is a video from the final of the main competition.

My leg hurts a bit now, and no doubt my right arm/shoulder will be a wreck come tomorrow.
Hopefully I can climb in the next few days, I am excited to keep climbing and get proper fit for the TCA league.


Wednesday 15 September 2010


shmeh, I really cant be arsed to update this right now but if I dont then it will get backlogged and I wont remember anything.

so, on monday I went to the Westway centre again and played fives, played average,
Dissapointing, I feel like I am playing ok, but still end up losing.
I dont know if it is the opponents, my shot selection, my partner, my fitness or what, but I keep losing and it is a little annoying.
Fortunately I manage to keep my head a little better than one of the other chaps there, who gets in a right tizzey if he plays a single bad shot...swearing and the like, nice to get a proper hint when you are playing well though... :-P

Tuesday, came home and rested due to being completely knackered.

Wednesday, weighed myself in the morning 80.3 Kg, pretty happy with this, but could still lose more.
Got let off work early so I went and had a climb at Cranleigh and didnt really manage anything but did loads of the hard moves on the 'hard' problems (around 7a perhaps maybe a tad more)

Thursday - work in the morning then a competition at Sutton, looking forward to it. Im wary of pushing myself a little too far though and I dont think I will commit too well to moves...but oh well...better in than out I guess.

Kinda out of stuff to piss and moan about now so I am going to do some mroe uke, my recital earlier was shoddy.

Sunday 12 September 2010

My first ever recording! Enjoy it!

Pretty self explanatory, recorded on my laptop, which is the only reason it is not very good.
Nothing to do with my playing, or more importantly my singing.

Aside from that, much has happened over the weekend, I played rugby on Saturday for the Cranleigh village second team, we won, but my leg cramped up biiiiigtime and kinda ached for a while. Anyway, I drank up on water and went out to SSP this morning for a bit more climbing.

My hand feels bags better, climbed a 6c onsight then attempted a 6c+ onsight, but it had a stupid move at the top that must have been nigh on impossible for some people. There is some stupid ass setting in there. No doubt. Nice moves though once you get em.
Great people too, in my two visits there I would say I have met more friendly people than I have at any other wall, and regulars too. Just a shame it is not better.

Cant wait to get back to bath now, I really want to go climb in the gorge and get my hard earned stamina back.


Wednesday 8 September 2010

Setting at SSP

My fingers



Red raw.

I went down to Surrey Sports Park today. stayed for 5 hours and performed some repairs on the useless set of problems they had present. I met Jack HP and set about 6 or so problems of about 6b/c and a couple easier.

It's funny, after setting there I can now appreciate the management at TCA. Not that SSP is godawful, but TCA just gets it right. Holds are kept together and easily accessible to setters, bolts and screws go in specific boxes, the drills work well. etc etc. SSP has a lot of potential right now, but I reckon it could do with tightening up everything that goes on, the holds are a good set, some really good slopers, crimps and angles to set on.

After setting the problems, we then had to climb them, and explain to everyone how the stupid sitstart to the black problem went. Fortunately this was pretty easy, only one held out for a while. A huge dyno between jugs, possibly around 6c for size alone.

Anyways, hand is alright still, just need to chill out and let the skin regrow.
Might be going back to SSP next week sometime to get some more routes set and get some more climbing in. Excited!

New Fastest Solve

Not much to show here apart form a picture...but here it is

Not 100% but I think the 32.57 time might be a new pb.
The average time is for sure. First time averaging under 40 seconds.
Good stuff.

Time for a climb now I think.

Sunday 5 September 2010


Seems I have some issue with being capable of staying in a semblance of fitness for more than a week at the moment.

Yesterday I managed to put a spade into my foot while attempting to dig a hole. Pushed down on it, and it went straight through the sole of my shoe and punctured the skin. Now my foot is bruised and walking is a right pain.

I'm just trying to help out my family garden and boom injured. Lesson here I think is never to try and help anyone ever, it only ends in pain.


might do some fingerboarding on my left hand.
Nowt much else to can do.

Saturday 4 September 2010

Sitting Awake, watching films

I was happily clearing out my harddrives, moving things around, making space, and I found a bunch of climbing films that have evaded viewing by hiding in the wrong files.

First on the list was Welsh Connections, which took me ages to download, and then I completely forgot about it. Some super bouldering on that, not to mentions Emmett's attempts on Muy Caliente.

Next up I found Dosage 1 - Which opens with Sharma projecting The Mandala in 2000. At the time it was thought to be hard V14...after a few holds broke and over time it has settled to be soft V12.
I just thought it was amazing to see how talents have grown. It seems a lot of people are climbing at around 8c now. Some even harder. People are flashing/onsighting up to 8b+!

Lastly I am watching Steve McClure trying overshadow on Hard XS. It is a little strange for a sport route of it's calibre and history to actually receive such good coverage I think. I am sure FRFM will have the same amount. Jumbo Love almost certainly did and it is because of the human element to the story, of the effort that goes into the first ascent. La Novena Enmienda 9a+, which is the same grade as Overshadow, received sod all coverage over here and I feel because of it, that Sharma didnt really have to commit himself too hard to the problem.

Of course, I could be massively wrong about the whole thing, and missed all of the hype surrounding it...

Anyways, I'm getting the SPS (sweaty palm syndrome) from watching these films, so I am going to cut off now and keep watching more intently.

Wednesday 1 September 2010

Boom! Sit Down!

UKC gets on my tits something special.
I ask a simple question regarding average grades, and some 'finance type' douchebag tells me that I am speaking nonsense.

That should teach him not to disagree with someone who: has far too much free time, stays awake till 3am to argue a point on the internet, has unparalleled spelling ability, no respect for grammar, and was (most importantly) correct in the first place.

However, due to the nature of this fickle beast at the heart of the web I suppose it will have absolutely zero effect whatsoever on this dunderhead.

At least I bumped my thread back to the top and gave my brain a vague workout.

Craggy tomorrow! woot woot!